NU Praised For Bringing ‘Help Me Grow’ Child Development Program To WNY
Shortly after Niagara University became the first higher education institution to serve as a Help Me Groworganizing entity, its College of Education was praised by program founder Dr. Paul Dworkin as an “inspiring example of strengthening town-gown ties in support of childhood system building.”
Niagara’s incubation of the Help Me Grow child development program received similar plaudits after the university and its principal partners presented a progress report during an Oct. 28 meeting of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York board of trustees. The foundation provided the initial funding to implement the national Help Me Grow program in Erie and Niagara counties.
“The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York is pleased to partner with Niagara University in the Help Me Grow initiative. Niagara University provides an innovative perspective to this national model by incorporating student service learning experiences that help set the stage for sustaining this important endeavor,” said Amber Slichta, vice president of the foundation. “The expertise and leadership of Dr. Debra Colley and Patti Wrobel have been invaluable as well. They have challenged the other 20-plus Help Me Grow affiliates across the country to engage with and capitalize on the academic resources in their communities, along with other academic institutions across Western New York.”
Help Me Grow, launched in 1998 by Dr. Dworkin, was conceived as a comprehensive, statewide, coordinated system to combat the effects of poverty or maltreatment through early identification and referral of children at risk for developmental and behavioral problems.